How Manchester United might attempt to beat the seemingly indomitable Chelsea

Some thoughts on how United’s tactics may stifle Chelsea,  and how Mourinho can counter-exploit such plans. … a) The teams (predicted): 1.  Two up-front – A rather odd statement,  but two clever interchanging front men has come back into vogue recently.  More importantly,  Chelsea has shown signs of struggling against two front men,  most noticeably against Leicester,  but also on …

OliverHow Manchester United might attempt to beat the seemingly indomitable Chelsea

A few reflections on Manchester City 4-1 Tottenham

A rambunctious, rough-diamond of a contest, City’s victory over Spurs at the Etihad provides much to pore over                                                                                     …

OliverA few reflections on Manchester City 4-1 Tottenham

A second opinion on Frank Lampard: football’s great learner

My own thoughts on Lampard,  following my colleague’s piece earlier today. “Oh my goodness, that’s incredible.  Frank Lampard against Chelsea” – Steve Wilson,  MoTD 2:  21/9/14                                                                       …

OliverA second opinion on Frank Lampard: football’s great learner

2014 summer transfer window – some reflections

As the summertime window of reinforcement opportunity closes until January, here are some reflections on the transfer dealings, for better or for worse, of the “big seven” clubs in the Premier League                                                         …

Charlie2014 summer transfer window – some reflections

2014 = 1978? Football through the lens of teleology

Preface: This is a provisional piece of work. I appreciate the comparative lack of depth in any of the case studies, due to a lack of detailed knowledge (I have no archives, nor am I old enough to have seen Holland in 1974, yet alone Hungary of 1954). With time, I aspire to complete this piece to a standard whereby …

Oliver2014 = 1978? Football through the lens of teleology

Tactical Preview: Chelsea 2014/15

Foreword: This is a theoretical preview from the perspective of a relatively objective fan of the club.  I hope to return to the tactical outlook of Chelsea latterly,  with more emphasis on how the theory worked out in practice,  how Mourinho and his coaching staff have implemented the general strategic framework they have imposed on the players:       …

OliverTactical Preview: Chelsea 2014/15

Brief thoughts on Man Utd vs Swansea and West Ham vs Tottenham

* I did not see the whole of either game. Man Utd vs Swansea: The exaggerated talk of Man Utd’s ills is quite unreal.  They had many injuries,  in key positions when you play a back 3.  Add Shaw, (potentially Rojo as a LCB),  Valencia and Van Persie (perhaps with another more combative central midfield player),  and the squad looks …

OliverBrief thoughts on Man Utd vs Swansea and West Ham vs Tottenham

Reflections on the career, to date, of Xavi Hernandez

For all that world football lauds, and rightly so, the astounding twin talents of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, neither of those two quite justify the epithet “changed football” in the same way as Xavi Hernandez, Barcelona and Spain’s favourite eldest son                                     …

OliverReflections on the career, to date, of Xavi Hernandez

Articles planned for August-October 2014

Within the next month or three, we aim to bring you articles on: Why Steven Gerrard is a self-destructive player. What defines Jose Mourinho’s identity,  and why it is not defensiveness. The potential impact of Brazil’s defeat at the World Cup,  and what it might mean for the country as a whole. Teleology and football – why 2014=1978, and why …

OliverArticles planned for August-October 2014